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English Edition

08/01/2012

BISIK-BISIK JANUARY 8, 2012

BISIK-BISIK JANUARY 8, 2012

The D-Day

Guilty or not? The Opposition chief, Anwar Ibrahim will know his fate tomorrow. The High Court will give its verdict on the trial of his sodomy case against his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan. It will be the first big event for the new year of 2012. As the day gets closer, Anwar is feeling the pressure. In his political ceramah being held to inflame the spirit of his supporters for the Free Anwar 901 campaign, that pressure is clearly written on his face as if he knows the outcome of the case.

Besides Saiful, Anwar should know what actually took place. Anybody can deny or divert the issue but one cannot cheat or deceive oneself and more so to Allah the most magnificent and all-knowing.

Awang hopes that whatever the outcome will be, will be accepted with an open mind and sincere heart. Do not let oneself to be trapped by emotion and sentiment. If Anwar is found not guilty, just respect the decision, and vice versa.

If the opposition wants to win the people’s heart, then it must be done in an honourable way including respecting the court decision. More than that, the opposition must also stand on high moral ground. There is no compromise to this. By allowing itself to be lead by a leader with questionable moral background, will send a wrong signal to the people. The opposition will not go far as long as Anwar is at the helm.

So, any excessive reaction if he is found guilty will only further damage the image of the opposition movement in the country. The 1998 and 1999 scenarios are not the same with the present. Anwar no longer has the widespread sympathy as it was then. More people can see clearly his true identity.

And the two sodomy cases involve different person. One was a former driver to his wife, Azizan Abu Bakar, and another was his former assistant, Saiful. They are both lesser beings who have been denied the right to get protection. Do not forget that justice is not the exclusive right of leaders and VIPs alone. It is also the rights of ordinary people. Tomorrow will be a big test for all Malaysians – to fall into Anwar’s trap of deception or otherwise. It is also interesting to know the 901 shock and its ending.

Yearning...

Despite being embroiled in a serious moral issue, including the prospect of having to go to jail, Anwar Ibrahim burning desire to be the Prime Minister never fade. Even if he has to be in prison, he said, he will still be the Prime Minister after the opposition win the 13th General Election.

Anwar is going to town bragging about his dream. Such is his overwhelming passion to be in power. There is no other leader who can overcome him in pursuing his dream for the post of the Prime Minister. According to Anwar, there will be an interim Prime Minister while he serves his jail sentence, by taking the AKP party of Turkey as an example. AKP won the election in 2002 when Recep Tayyib Erdogan was put behind bar. The interim Prime Minister was Abdullah Gul, who later handed over the post to Erdogan after he was released.

Anwar forget that Erdogan was not jailed for sexual offence. Erdogan was found guilty for the charge of so-called nurturing religious hatred. It has nothing to do at all with moral misconduct. In fact in the eyes of his people, Erdogan is seen as pro-Islam. He is unlike Anwar, who was faced twice with the charge of sodomy. Anwar is also entagled in a sex video case and other moral issues that put his integrity on the line. The AKP’s image is much higher and noble. Its leaders never abandoned the party.

Compared with PKR, the people’s support towards the party is spiralling leaving it topsy-turvy. This is evident in the last party poll where chaos can be seen in many branches. In his statement yesterday, Anwar called on the opposition machineries to work to their last drop of sweat to win the coming general election so that they can form the government and free him from prison. It is obvious that the opposition’s objective to win the election is not for the betterment of the country and the people but to free Anwar. This is mind-boggling indeed.

Whose fault?

AWANG agrees with the view of Anwar’s former close associate, Raja Petra Kamarudin in his interview with Mingguan Malaysia last Sunday, that the PKR adviser is no longer an alternative leader for Malaysia.

There are many questions that need to be assessed through the interview – from the issue of Anwar’s integrity, governance, sex video to the gay issue. “The question is if you want to be gay, be so. You cannot be a leader and a gay at the same time. In Malaysia, you have to choose. If you want to be the Prime Minister and gay at the same, it’s a no-no in Malaysia,” he said. In his reaction, Anwar only criticised Raja Petra but avoid from responding to the issue raised.

Prior to this, Raja Petra was among Anwar’s supporter but he has now lost confidence on the opposition head. As usual, he is very vocal with his criticism and often being cynical to any quarters either the Barisan Nasional (BN) or the opposition.

Besides Raja Petra, there are many more party leaders who had left Anwar. In the PKR alone, more than 50 senior leaders of the party had jumped ship and this is unprecedented in other party. Dozens more of Anwar’s friends too had decided to abandon him. Many had yet to make known their decision but there are figures including Ismail Mina Ahmad, who already stated their reasons. He was Anwar’s close friend since their university days and later set up the Yayasan Anda together, and they were among the pioneers of the Angkatan Belia Malaysia (ABIM). They always went along in their political activities.

Among the factors that made Ismail parted way with Anwar was due to his religious stance. Anwar is more inclined towards religious pluralism which might affect the faith of Muslims. “I decided to leave him because such line of thinking can push a Muslim towards infidelity,” he said. When interviewed, he was seen withholding his tears several times in stating his point. With so many PKR leaders and friends leaving him, it is pertinent to ask, who is in the right – them or Anwar?

Time-wasting

The police decision to allow the organiser of the Free Anwar 901 campaign to hold an assembly at the parking area of the Court Complex at Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, is rather disturbing.

Personally, Awang has no problem with the decision. There must be reasons and game plan that the police find it in the best interest of the public like reducing the risk of violence. It is also a reflection of the openness on the part of the government to the outside world.

However, while Awang being a Malaysian citizen who always strongly support the police, Awang should also voice out the concern and give feedback from the people.

The decision to allow Anwar supporters to carry out the assembly is upsetting many groups especially the public and NGOs. To trust the organiser to be responsible for any eventuality is not a wise strategy. The guarantee by PKR for a peaceful gathering without any breach of condition set by the police, should not be taken in totality. The party has been good at exploiting the situation since the beginning of its set-up. In fact, it is understood that even with the limited consent for them to gather, there are plans by Anwar supporters to assemble in various places in the city capital other than the Jalan Duta parking lot. It is for this reason that Awang can understand the concern of the public and NGOs. They have been very serious and vocal on the matter for the sake of public order but in the end the police choose to hear the voice of the minority. Our authorities appear to be easily giving in to the demand and often trap in the opposition game plan. That is the public perception.

In Malaysia, it is easier to be rowdy and naughty boys to get the attention and given good service. In facing the illegal assembly of Bersih last year, thousands of police reports were made against the organiser but it was just like the proverbial act of throwing water into the sand. There is no other country in the world that made so much police reports against such activities. In Singapore, one or two reports is enough for the police to make bold and convincing action.

In the Free Anwar 901 campaign, the public has yet again received a confusing signal. After giving so much warning, the police came under the buckle yet again. Then it is better for the police to state at the outset that the assembly can be held. There is no need for the public and NGOs to make hundreds of police reports. It seems that the people’s effort in allotting much of their time and effort to go to the various police stations in the country, came to nothing in the eyes of the police. What is the use of coming out forcefully making police reports if the end result is just the same?

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